The New Year Is a Call for New Beginnings
For many, New Year’s brings about a call for change. A time where many make a resolution that they will do something new with their life. Whether it is to lose that unwanted weight, to quit smoking, or to be a more giving person, each one of us will make some kind of resolution that we will make the new year a year dedicated to change.
Newness is what God is all about. With God, it is all about beginnings, an interesting irony considering that Yahweh is eternal – there is no beginning or ending to Him. Yet, that is not true with us.
As far as humankind is concerned, all that we cherish began when God decided that He wanted to change the way that things were. We are told in Genesis 1:1-5 that, in one day, God created the things that would become all of the heavens and the earth. This included the earth, which was formless and void, and that he also brought forth light, separating time. In the first day, God not only created the material that would lead to the entire universe, but He also brought forth the concept of time.
Time was established on that first day as a nighttime and a daytime, but it also established that there would be a period that would be referred to as a “day.” We don’t often consider this, but in the very first day when the heavens and earth existed, God established two of the fundamental time periods in our lives – day and periods of the day – leaving only years to be established.
Over the next five days, God would create all things. He would create the sun and the moon, he would create plants, animals, bodies of water, and land masses. Within a six-day period of time, the Lord created all that we know, but His work did not stop there.
Over time, our God has continually intervened to change things. To bring about a new beginning when it was needed. For example, when Adam sinned, God created something new in how He would deal with Adam, Eve, and all that came after them. Later, God made a pact with Abraham that He would bring about a means of salvation for all. Jesus became that salvation, and we are told He sits on the throne where He declares that He makes everything new (Rev. 21:5).
Over the thousands of years of Biblical history, many things have changed about humankind. This has included wars, slavery, hatred, bigotry, arrogance, disease, and so much more, but God has never changed. God is the One thing that we can count on, and the One thing that we know that even in our darkest periods of life that there is still One out there who is dedicated to looking after us, who cherishes us as greater than anything He has ever designed, and that He loves us with an unending affection that endures our sin, hatred, selfishness, and pride. He is faithful to love and care for us even when we want nothing to do with Him.
As New Year’s arrives, the vast majority of us will be looking to make a change to be something else, but the truth is that we are really looking to be what we once were. Most of us have put on pounds over the years, and our desire is to regain that physique we once had. Most of us were pretty nice at one point, but the years of obstacles and troubles have hardened us to the point where we are no longer kind and adoring as we once we were. There was a point in our lives where we did not smoke, drink, use drugs, or sleep around, and we are seeking to return a time where our bodies meant so much more to each of us.
The truth is that God has been looking for a restoration of what humankind broke. While Adam brought sin on the whole world, we have embraced that sin. We have desired the things of our flesh, putting those in opposition to our relationship with God.
This year, it is a new beginning for Bridge to Freedom Ministries. Started in 2005, this ministry worked to serve the prisoners in Minnesota as well as their families, and grew to become something that was national. However, personal struggles arose and the ministry suffered as a result, as it was determined that the best thing to do was to turn it over to others and let them continue the mission.
God did not put a hold on the work, but redirected it to others to do the job. Now, God has called for a focused ministry, dedicated to leading people to Christ, making them disciples, while also helping men and women getting out of prison, providing comfort and instruction for the incarcerated and their families, and helping those involved to be true servants to all. This is not a new ministry, but a return to the things that helped to make Bridge to Freedom Ministries quite successful for nearly a decade.
In Jeremiah 6:16, the Lord advises the people to look and choose to follow the ancient pathways. This is a call to look at one’s options and to choose to follow the pathways of such great men of faith as Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Samuel, Paul, and others. Those who heard the call of the Lord and, while not perfect, decided that God’s ways were always right.
16 This is what the Lord says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ – Jer. 6:16
As Bridge to Freedom Ministries returns with its own beginnings, restarting in Wichita, Kansas, yet still serving as God calls, we encourage you to join us in this journey to return to the ancient pathways. We not only seek to help people develop a relationship with Jesus as well as to help them to become mature in their faith, but we want to serve in such a way that enables those who are leaving prison to find greater success, stopping the revolving door of parole and incarceration that has become the life for far too many men and women.
During this first year, the focus of daily teachings will be on new beginnings. We will specifically address the truth that God is the Creator of all things, and that those who are professing a “chance” creation are the ones buying into myths and fairytales. We will not only look at this, but also address beginnings as taught by the Bible, and see how Jesus made all things new.
Along with these daily posts, will be providing weekly teachings, monthly newsletters, resources to assist those who are in need of help, and opportunities to receive prayers for your concerns as well as to pray for others.
Paul tells us that anyone who has chosen to follow Jesus has become a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). If Jesus is the Lord of your life, then you have already begun a journey of newness. You no longer need to make resolutions to do something new this year. You are already new! Join us in the journey to become mature men and women of faith, and to make a difference in the lives of others, no matter where you are.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! – 2 Cor. 5:17
By Robert Pannier